Everyone is talking about it, everyone is using it, but you find Facebook daunting and guess what? You’re not alone!

Maybe you’re new to Facebook or maybe you’re completely technically unsavvy, but feel you’re losing out socially. Even though the site was originally created for college students, the average user is now 41 years old and 65% of all Facebookers are over 35.*

The problem that exists for some 40/50/60 somethings is that the younger generations have grown up with the words ‘hashtag’, ‘share’ and ‘post’ as part of their everyday language but those who have joined later in life may find it all too foreign. Of course, the majority of older users are more than capable to use all that Facebook has to offer but this is a beginner’s guide for any user who is having doubts.


  • Wall/timeline: When you create your profile, your information will be displayed along the top of your Facebook page and down the left-hand side. Everything that you post will be shown on your wall/timeline down the right-hand side of your page with your most recent at the top, to be seen by all of your Facebook friends and possibly the rest of the public (if you haven’t changed your privacy settings.) The timeline goes right back to when you first joined Facebook. The timeline used to be called a wall but recently got renamed.
  • Post: A message, link or photo put (posted) onto your Facebook timeline or a friend’s timeline for your/their friends to see
  • Friends: People that also have Facebook, they can become your friend once you’ve added them and they’ve accepted your invitation. Once accepted you can see all of their Facebook activity and they can see yours.
  • Share: If someone posts a photo, a link or writes a comment, you can then put that on your timeline for your friends to see by using the ‘share’ button underneath the post.
  • Like: It’s simple, if you see a post on a friend’s wall that you like, you can click the ‘like’ button underneath the post so that they know you like it.
  • Tag: After uploading photographs you can tag your friends in them so that each person’s name appears on their picture, and the photo then gets added to their pictures on their timeline. You can also tag yourself and your friends in your friend’s photographs.
  • News Feed: At the top left-hand corner of your page there is a blue button with a white ‘F.’ When this is pressed a selection of your friends’ latest activity is displayed.
  • Status: A message you write on your own timeline for your Facebook friends to see and comment on, whether it’s an exciting announcement, philosophical question or what you had for lunch.
  • Page: A public profile for businesses, brands, celebrities and charities. Pages gain fans instead of friends who become fans by clicking ‘like’ on the page. Pages get updated with statuses, links, events and photos which appear in the fan’s personal news feeds.

Reasons to use Facebook Socially

  • To connect to distant friends and family
  • Have group conversations
  • To share photos
  • To share songs and links to interesting things on the internet
  • Create invitations for events and have a base for conversation about the event

Reasons to use Facebook in business

So that customers can:

  • Hear about your latest news, discounts, offers and events
  • See photos of your latest products
  • Share your posts with their friends
  • Make comments and ask questions
  • Be linked to your website

Facebook is very easy to get the hang of once you’ve set up an account, so don’t let your social life, long distance friendships or your business suffer. Set it up, start using and turn to this glossary if you ever get stuck!

*Quartz Audience Survey, June 2013